U8 & u10


U 8 & U10 team - 2 day

Ages: 7-9
Coaches: Sandy Leclair (Head)
Start-End Dates: Dec 9, 2023 – Mar 31, 2024
Training Hours Weekend: Saturdays and Sundays 9AM – 3PM
Cost:  $1,100.00 + Family Membership Fee

More Info.

The U8 and U10 Team is our entry-level competition program to skill building, goal setting, and competition. With the main focus being on fun, participants are exposed to a variety of learning situations designed to give them success and the desire for more! Freeskiing, gate drills, gate training, and T-Bar loops are part of any training session.  U8 and U10 athletes will spend the majority of their training time freeskiing and focusing on fundamental skill building.  Athletes must participate in at least one Northern Vermont Council race and at least one Freeski competition during the season.  Some school vacation days are included and activities may include but not be limited to x-country skiing, swimming and snowshoeing. Northern Vermont Council competitions require VARA and USSA membership.


 The U8 and U10 Team is our entry-level program focused on skill building, goal setting, and competition. With the main focus being on fun, participants are exposed to a variety of learning situations designed to give them success and the desire for more! Freeskiing, gate drills, gate training, and T-Bar loops are part of any practice session.  At this level we begin to develop the athletes into strong overall skiers and build a large fundamental base.  Once the fundamental base is developed basic tactical skills will be taught to the athletes.  

Technical and Tactical Goals


  • Athletes will develop a good balanced parallel stance and proper pole usage (ankle flexion and tension, forward pressure, upper and lower body separation, pole plant/pole swing)
  • Athletes will link carved turns and develop these skills to the point of proficiency in all terrains
  • Athletes will apply their carving skills to the race course where they can fine tune them.
  • Introduce and develop understanding basic tactical skills in GS courses (fall-line, rise line, transition point)
  • Introduce basic proper tuck position
  • U10 Athletes will perform all USSA SkillsQuest Phase 2 drills to a score of at least 5

              Competition Goals

 The U8 and U10 athletes are being introduced to racing and freeski competition. Learning inspection skills and to memorize the course and preparing for more difficult gates/terrain, striving to improve technique and times on each run, supporting teammates who get faster/better or slower/worse times or scores, and receiving feedback from the coaches on the race/competition runs are some of the more common features of competition in the U8/10 groups.  All U8/U10 races will be with the Northern Vermont Council (NVC), while U10 Freeski competitions can be throughout the state.

              Competition Events

 Races usually run on Sundays starting in January and ending in mid-March (6 races).  Freeski competitions are usually on Saturdays staring in January and running through the end of March (5 Competitions).  These events are hosted by several local resorts like Stowe, Burke, Jay Peak, Cochrans, SNSC, etc. The competitions have over 100 boy and girl racers and prizes are awarded at the race. No qualification is necessary for any of the races.  For U8s/U10s the majority of the races are GS races (or panel SL), either individual or team events. 


The following provides overview highlights of the Program’s curriculum. Should a more detailed curriculum be desired, please contact the Head Coach.

SNSC coaches use different methods when teaching skills to athletes.  The method used depends on the athlete and the skill being learned.  We use a variety of ways to describe a skill to athletes, from verbal explanation, to video, to providing an example on the slopes.  Additionally certain skills are better learned when broken into chunks while other as a whole.  SNSC coaches are trained to identify and use the correct methods dependent upon the athlete and skill to be learned. 


  • Conditioning: Fall group gatherings focusing on team building and having fun through a variety of games and activities.
  • Freeskiing: The main focus at this age and a major factor to the development of the athlete (80%-90% of on-snow time)
    • Freeskiing drills: Used daily during training sessions throughout the year to help teach and engrain the fundamental skills necessary to become a ski racer.
  • Gate training: Used as race preparation training and to acclimate the athletes to race courses and race day routines. (10%-20% of on snow time)
    • Gate drills: used to further teach and engrain fundamental skills both in and out of a course.

Video analysis: Will occur as needed. The athlete will watch video of themselves, however, the need for the athlete to develop the ability to feel their skiing, and not become dependent on video is critical.

Equipment Requirements

  • One pair of mulit-sport skis (preferably a second all mountain pair of skis)
  • Hard eared helmet
  • Comfortable properly sized boots (ankle shouldn’t move in boot, but should be able to wiggle toes)

              Membership Requirements

 SNSC Family or SNSC Individual, USSA & VARA licenses are mandatory for competitors to race in the NVC. Please visit www.vara.org and www.ussa.org for details.

Volunteer and Event Work Day Requirements

SNSC families are required to volunteer and the club couldn’t operate without the help of all our volunteers.

              Race Schedules / Rules / Entry Fees

 Please visit www.vara.org for all program race schedules, rules, and entry fees.  For a detailed schedule please contact the U10 head coach or the Alpine Director.

              Coaches’ Travel Expenses

 Coaches’ travel expenses (room and meals) are to be shared equally by all athlete families attending any given race outside of Northern Vermont.


 SNSC website www.snscsvt.com, Facebook, and group email are common pathways. Other inquiries should be addressed to the Coaches, then the Head Coach, and lastly the Alpine or Club Director. General office questions can be directed to 644-1177.

              Parent Involvement On-and-Off Hill:

  • Parent orientation meeting and year end awards:
  • Race days: There is always the need for a parent or two helping athletes get themselves and their equipment ready in the lodge. Similarly, parents assisting with the transport of jackets and warm-ups from the race start to finish area are always appreciated.

              Other Expectations:

  • Athlete on-hill assistance requirements: All athletes when asked are expected to assist coaches and staff in setting up, maintaining, and tearing down training courses.
  • On-snow sessions in excess of applicable program: Should an athlete’s participation in on-snow sessions be in excess of the program days signed up for, then the athlete will be asked to re-register and pay for (on a pro-rated basis) the appropriate number of program days.

Athlete Expectations

  • Have Fun!!!
  • Try, do the best you can, it is all you can do
  • Represent SNSC in the utmost manner at all times on and off skis (act appropriately and respectfully to all mountain staff, guests, and other mountain racers/coaches while a member of SNSC)
  • Arrive on time for Training and Races, and be on snow on time with coaches
  • Be prepared for training sessions and Races (have all your equipment for all weather conditions with you at all times)
  • Respect your coaches – (i.e. don’t talk while they are talking unless you have a question)
  • Listen to your coaches at all times
  • Play one or two other sports/athletic activities during the year